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Whiteoak’s Landen Eyre races to 9th-place finish in 1600m run state debut

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Whiteoak sophomore Landen Eyre, center, finished ninth in the Division III 1600-meter run at the 2023 OHSAA State Track and Field Championships. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha and Caitlin Forsha)
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

COLUMBUS — Racing in nearly 90-degree heat on Saturday morning, Whiteoak sophomore Landen Eyre ran to a ninth-place finish in the Division III 1600-meter run at the 2023 OHSAA State Track and Field Championships.

The race at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium saw Eyre run a ninth-place time of 4:21.75. In his race, he was 14th after the first lap (1:03.33), 16th after lap two (2:12.05), 10th after lap three (3:18.19) and ninth when the fourth lap was finished.

Eyre nearly made the podium with the eighth-place time being 4:21.69, which was run by senior Brayden O’Brien of Reedsville Eastern. The state champion time was 4:13.51, run by East Canton senior Brylan Holland.

The Whiteoak sophomore talked about the experience and about having “positive energy” when it comes to his running.

“State, it is cool to be here, and it is a really good atmosphere to be in, a lot of positive energy. It gives you a boost of adrenaline to run faster,” Eyre said. “At the beginning of the season, I obviously wanted to be here. It just takes a lot of hard work to put in every day and don’t get set back too much after a bad race, because you need the positive energy going into the next one.

“I just tried to keep a smile on my face at all times.”

This season, Eyre won the 2023 Southern Hills Athletic Conference champion with a time of 4:47.23, and the sophomore won a district championship at 4:25.00. When Eyre became a state qualifier with his sixth-place finish at regionals, his time was 4:28.11.

“Coming off regionals, the top four qualified for state automatically, and I got sixth, so I was sad and mad about getting sixth at regionals,” Eyre said. “I didn’t think I was going to go to state, but I got kind of lucky and I got to race here, and I got ninth, so I can’t be too mad about that.

“I had a lot of people here today, and I had a lot of people who couldn’t make it here cheering and supporting me. It means a lot. I want to thank my coaches, friends, family and obviously God, He does a lot. I also want to give a huge shoutout to a coach from Missouri (Murphy Affolber), and (Kim) Roush, my (Whiteoak) track head coach.”